What do sponsors pay for podcasts

How to make money from your podcast

44: There are two types of blog posts. On the one hand, the ones that easily go out of my hand and then there are these beasts that I almost grit my teeth on. This one is a beast again.

Why is that?!

The topic of making money is important for any entrepreneurial blogger or podcast. Most of us want to make this world a little better than it is, but at the same time we also have to earn the salt in our soup.

Quite often I then hear the question from entrepreneurs:

“Are podcasts worthwhile? How big is the return on investment? "

In other words: How big is the profit in relation to the costs involved in production?

And I like to avoid the answer to the question. Because that's damn hard to answer.

Here you can listen to, download and share the episode.

If you like, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher

What does it cost you to produce your podcast?

If we now go through the phases of production in a very clean and economical manner, then a budding podcaster quickly becomes afraid, because a lot of time is accumulated per episode.

In my case, I allow half a day per episode. If I write an article like this as a basis, it takes time. I have to do some research. I have to say it. I have to do show notes. I have to get my doctorate going. Then the episode still wants to be uploaded, described and published.

And and and…

If I take my hourly rate of 80 EUR as a basis - I can't work for others and earn money in the production phase - then an episode with five hours of work will cost me 400 EUR !!!

It gets a little more expensive if I make appointments for an interview and have to plan a lot in advance.

Why do I go along with this madness and not put 400, - EUR in advertising campaigns, you ask yourself ?!

Well, for me there is one argument that speaks for a podcast. And when you look at that argument, you won't care about money.

But I'll come to that at the end. Now let me show you a few ways that you can get direct income from your podcast. In other words, income that you could specifically offset against.

Find a sponsor for your show

If you have your eye on the American podcast scene, or at least listen to some English language podcasts, one thing will strike you: most shows have a sponsor!

This is not yet very widespread in German-speaking countries, but from my point of view it is only a matter of time. I know of two podcasters who have been asked by companies to sponsor them. In both cases it was software and SEO tool providers.

The company, however, actively approaching you as a podcaster is still a long way off at the moment and I wouldn't wait for it. If you feel like sponsoring, you have to take action yourself.

You have roughly two options.

  1. You pick all of the companies that offer products or services that your listeners may need. So if you own a fitness podcast, you could write to companies that sell nutritional supplements or make shoes. The problem with this is that these companies usually have not yet understood the benefits of online marketing and are asking about the return on investment. And that's hard to put into numbers.
  2. You are looking for affiliate partners from your niche or corresponding programs. The advantage of affiliate partners is that they know the power of online marketing and don't need a lot of persuasion. Usually there are already forms that you just need to fill out and a little later you will be in the program.

For the second option, I have a best practice example for you.

Best practice: earn money with your podcast and 99Designs

99Designs is a company with a huge pool of designers. You make an inquiry there for a design for your website, your business card or whatever and then receive a sum of designs from various graphic artists worldwide for a certain flat amount.

The boys and girls have a very clever marketing strategy through partner programs. When you register as a partner, you will get a specific link that you can give to your listeners or readers. With this link you will receive a discount on your first purchase and you will receive a commission.

The more customers buy with your link, the more you earn from it.

Of the podcasts floating around in my playlist, two shows are partners of 99Designs. On the one hand Amy Porterfield from the USA, but also my valued colleague Christian Gursky.

What are the downsides of sponsoring your podcast?

When I was at a barcamp a few weeks ago, I talked to podcast listeners about my show or about affen on air.

Somehow the topic came up on podcast advertising and the opinion was surprisingly clear.

Advertising in the podcast is annoying!

An interruption of the content for advertising quickly becomes disruptive and like a foreign body. At least in the unrepresentative group of people I spoke to there on the barcamp.

I feel the same way with Amy Porterfield. This is not because I generally reject sponsorship, but because of the quality of the income. The commercial has a different sound and volume than the rest of the show, which I personally find totally annoying.

It's different with Christian. He's also doing an advertising block that separates the topic, but at least it sounds homogeneous with the rest of the show.

In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether sponsorship is worthwhile. You can assume that the affiliate income is nowhere near enough to recoup the costs of your show. Mainly because you “need a lot of sales”. And as soon as you're out to sell, your listeners will notice and won't like it that much.

"Individual" sponsors in your show

It is a little more charming if you bring tailor-made sponsors into your podcast. A small example: You have a podcast or blog about online marketing and you talk about online courses. How about if you get a guest on the show who offers corresponding products ?!

You could deliver added value with him through an interview and at the end bring your guest's course into play. You could then also earn a commission via an affiliate link.

But be careful: the free content should also be valuable.

Please don't do a QVC podcast!

If you talk about podcasting, please let me know. I also give affiliate links to my products. 😉

Microdonations with Flattr

Flattr is a pretty cool thing.

You've probably read articles and listened to podcasts that were so good that you would have happily paid for them. Maybe you would have liked to buy him or her a coffee. Just a little something to appreciate.

And that's exactly what Flattr does.

When you register with Flattr, you can set a certain amount of money per month that you are willing to "donate". If you're reading an article or listening to a show that has a Flattr button, you can click on it and leave an invisible marker.

At the end of the month, the money you provide will be split between the blogs and podcasts with your tags.

You won't get rich that way, but you will at least get a “financial thank you” for your effort. To set up this function, you need your own account and a Flattr button on your content. Here you can easily set it up and get information about it.

Collect donations with PayPal

With PayPal you can do more than just pay at online retailers or pizza parlors. You can set up a special donate button for your podcast listeners.

If you set up a page that can only be reached via a link that you include in your podcast, then you can see how many donations have come in about your show. The advantage is that you don't have to share the sum with others, as is the case with Flattr.

If someone thinks your show is really good, then they'll be grateful.

You can see how you can set this up here: To the PayPal donation button

How to monetize an existing podcast

The idea for this post comes from a Facebook group. There the big initial question was asked: How can I make money from my existing podcast.

I gave an initial answer: sponsoring.

If for whatever reason this doesn't work or is unsuccessful, then you should market your knowledge. If you have a health podcast, develop a course on it or offer one-to-one counseling.

For your knowledge and your person, people are ready to put money on the table. If you already have a show and haven't built a business around it, then you should get started quickly.

And this approach lets us close the loop.

Why I am ready to invest 400 EUR in a podcast episode without flinching

Well, let's not kid ourselves.

You won't make any direct profit anytime soon from having a podcast at the start. But you can make a lot of money indirectly!

If you know me, you know that I'm not a show-off. So if I tell you a little story now, please don't consider me a boor. I get stories like this very often from my clients or from other podcasters in my network. So it doesn't necessarily have to do with me. 😉

I've probably already told you this story, but it just fits in here.

I was approached by a listener at a bar camp.

He said: "I think it's so great to get to know you and that you are part of my life."

Since it was a man and I'm married to a woman, I must have looked a bit strange.

He further said: "Do not get me wrong. But I think it's so nice to learn something from yourself every week and to be able to participate in your life when you talk about your family. Apart from that, I can take something with me from every episode and have already signed up for your mailing list. "

If you get something like this from one of your listeners as feedback, then you know why you are starting a show.

  1. The connection with another person's voice is so strong that a real relationship develops over time. And a good relationship is the basis for everything else. Also for sold products.
  2. Your people don't have to listen to podcasts on a computer; they can listen to you when they're doing something completely different. Either they beautify themselves while ironing, learn from you while standing in traffic jams or listen to you when they go for a walk in the forest.
  3. The spoken language is much more detailed than the written language. Because you can convey a lot more and show of yourself between the lines through emphasis and enthusiasm. Most of it happens unconsciously and that is what makes you so authentic.

Christian Gursky once said in one of his episodes that starting the podcast was one of the best decisions for him as an entrepreneur. And anyone who knows Christian knows how inspiring and business-minded his thinking is.

And if a seasoned entrepreneur, like podcasts, uses it as a marketing tool, then there has to be something to it. 😉

Conclusion - What can you take with you?

You cannot earn any money with pure podcasting. Point.

But indirectly, an audio show is one of the best mediums for building a surprisingly strong relationship between your listeners and you and vice versa. A strong and trusting relationship is the basis for all successful human communication - also for sales. I don't want to throw my hard-earned money down the throat of someone I can't judge. But I like to spend my money on really good products and especially when I know and like the people behind them.

In this respect, your podcast is refinanced just like your blog or your YouTube channel. At some point you will get to the point where you are in the profit zone.

Bernd Geropp told me a few weeks ago that he doesn't have to do any cold calls since his podcast has been running for a while!

Runs with him! 😉

It is the well-known law of interactions. If I get something valuable from you, then I am also happy to give something valuable back to you.

If you can already record audios and now want to turn them into a real podcast on iTunes and Co., then I am currently planning a course that will help you. You can find all the information you need here.

Do we hear each other on your show ?!



What do you think?